written by Robert Roth(Bayside meditation member)
The writer Michael Singer said “ It is truly a great cosmic paradox that one of the best teachers in all of life turns out to be death.” It is only because our time on earth is limited, that we seek to find meaning in our lives.
If human beings lived forever, nobody would ever think about the meaning of life. If there was no death there would be no need for religion or philosophy.
The philosopher Nietzsche would obsess about his own death. He would often imagine himself following his own funeral procession. Yet he had a great vitality and passion for life. In all his writing he affirmed the positive value of life. One thing Nietzsche had in common with Buddhism, was that he thought the self was an illusion.
Nietzsche said that man cannot live without illusions. After the Buddha became enlightened he was reluctant to teach people because he thought it would be difficult for people to live without the illusion of the self. Giving up the illusionary self can be greatly liberating.
It says in the Bible, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. When a person reaches enlightenment through meditation the self disappears. Your consciousness expands, and you are no longer separate from the universe. You will attain the infinite mind of the universe. When you are one with the universe you no longer have the self to grasp on to so there is no fear of death.
Heaven or God’s kingdom exists within us. It is not someplace far up in the sky. With meditation you can live in heaven while you are alive.